A Few Thanksgiving Menus

From Mrs. Rorer’s Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutes (1909):

Mock Oyster Soup
1 bunch salsify
1 pint milk
1 quart water
1 sliced onion
1 bay leaf
1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Scrape the salsify; throw it at once into cold water to prevent discoloration; ; cut it into slices about half an inch thick; throw these into a kettle, with the water, onion, and bay leaf; cook slowly half an hour. Put the milk in a double boiler; add the butter and flour, rubbed together; stir until the milk is thick and smooth. Then add it to the salsify and water in the saucepan; add the seasonings, and serve with oyster crackers.


Mock Turkey
1 pint breadcrumbs
1 pint mixed nuts
1 pint boiled rice
6 hard-boiled eggs
3 raw eggs
1 tbs grated onion
1 tbs salt
1 tsp pepper

Put the breadcrumbs in a saucepan with a pint of water; cook for a few minutes; add the hard-boiled eggs, chopped; take saucepan from the fire and add the nuts (a mixture of peanuts and pine nuts is best), and the rice. When this is well mixed, add the raw eggs, slightly beaten. Form this into the shape of a turkey, reserving a portion for the legs and the wings. Take a tablespoon of the mixture in your hand and press it into the shape of a leg; put a piece of dry macaroni into it for the bone and fasten it to the turkey. Brush the turkey with butter and bake for one hour. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Sauce Soubise
Peel and cut in slices three large onions. Put them into a saucepan with one ounce of butter, cover, and simmer gently about three-quarters of an hour; the onions must be colored. When tender and soft, add a tablespoonful of flour, mix and press through a colander. Add one gill of stock and one gill of cream, stir continually until it boils. Add a half teaspoonful of salt, a dash of pepper, a grating of nutmeg and it is ready to serve.

Cranberry Jelly
Canned Peas
Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving Pie

Mock Mince Pie
1 cup seeded raisins, chopped fine
1 egg
2/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup cider or grape juice
4 Uneeda biscuits
1/2 cup washed currants
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded citron
1 tbs vinegar
Juice and rind one lemon

Roll the crackers, put them in a bowl, and add all of the fruit. Beat the egg until light, add the molasses, grape juice or cider, sugar and lemon. Mix, and, if you like, add a half teaspoon of cinnamon.

Pie Crust
2 tbs nut butter
1 pint flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water

Rub the nut butter into the flour, add the salt, and gradually the ice water; the crust must not be too wet. Roll this out as you would other pastry. Line a pie-tin; put in the mock mince meat, cover with an upper crust; bake 45 minutes in a moderate oven.


From The Boston Cooking School Cook Book (1896):

Oyster Soup
Crisp Crackers

Salted Almonds

Roast Turkey
Cranberry Jelly

Mashed Potatoes
Onions in Cream

Chicken Pie.
Fruit Pudding
Sterling Sauce

Mince, Apple, and Squash Pie
Neapolitan Ice Cream
Fancy Cakes

Nuts and Raisins


Cafe Noir

From The Delmonico Cook Book (1890):

Shrewsbury Oysters
Giblet à l’Ecoissaise
Codfish, Egg sauce
Lamb chops à la Robinson
Croquettes of Macaroni
Curry of Chicken à l’Espagnole
Mushrooms on Toast
Punch en Surprise
Roast Turkey, Cranberry sauce
Celery Salad
Mince Pie
Strachino Cheese


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4 replies on “A Few Thanksgiving Menus”
    1. says: JennR

      I can certainly see salsify standing in for oysters — especially the oysters one could get inland in the early 1900s. The mock mince meat doesn’t look bad, but apples will work better than crackers/biscuits. Mincemeat is all about the spices anyway. 🙂

      1. So you’d try one of these recipes? *g*

        The absence of apples makes me think these Vegetarian cookbooks were geared less towards health-conscious Edwardians and more towards those who couldn’t afford fruit, but could afford biscuits (cookies, that is).

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